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Learning from mistakes which wrecked The Rack - 86%

morbert, March 19th, 2009

On ‘Last One On Earth ’ Asphyx corrected two of the three major fuck-ups that had earlier damaged ‘The Rack’. First of all the production was (finally!) mega mighty. Enormously wide and thick layers of guitars but without damaging the other instruments this time. The drums finally sounded good. The band had clearly learned from earlier mistakes.

Same goes for the second improvement: more up tempo songs and sections make this album far less monotone and more dynamic than ‘The Rack’. The band was clearly more focussed on releasing an album not only featuring good individual songs but staying interesting as a whole from start till finish as well. And what a way it did end! ‘Asphyx (Forgotten War)’ is one of the best songs on the album. Hell, it’s one of the best in their career. Heavy, dynamic, it had everything an Asphyx fan could wish for. Also the old EP classic ‘Streams Of Ancient Wisdom’ was re-recorded for this album.

‘The Last One On Earth’ saw the band introducing vocalist/bassist Ron van Pol but Van Drunen’s vocals were kept. Van Drunen however sounds rather different than earlier Asphyx and Pestilence releases. His vocals have a higher pitch than normal yet I find these vocals rather suiting, giving contrast to the ultra heavy guitars. Van Drunen actually sounded more ‘in touch’ with the band and especially the atmosphere of the music instead of just grunting some lyrics over an already recorded album. The weird thing being that the band had already decided to fire him when he was recording. But he does a more than adequate job here, simply shattering what he had done on The Rack.